Talk about legacy...Jesus on the Cross left all humanity a legacy from His life, His words, and, most of all, His final moments fulfilling God's design to bring both justice and atonement to those who would follow Him. While our schools were bent on Earth Day, possibly with an Easter Bunny bonus, sober fathers were prompted to reflection on how Jesus set for them the model they may not have had in their own fathers.
I was not planning on going this direction for this post. It was going to be about Taylor Jarvis Pettit. He was the "star" of a number of posts on GenDads as he progressed through a year of Passage. We concluded last week at the Big Log Lodge (of course). Lance and Dante asked me to tell more about Taylor's responses and commitments. OK, soon. But while the fruit of a father's "legacy" is found in his sons and daughters, there are times we need to look at our heritage; our own fathers and grandfathers who often leave roots of character and love. Sometimes, not.
Too often we old guys don't have those roots. I didn't. Mine came by studying and following the Man who eventually died on my behalf. Tonight during a Good Friday service, my back pocket notebook started filling up. This isn't a place for a sermon, but picture, as I did, how Jesus' character on Calvary frames fatherhood...He was/is our Heavenly Father.
The portrait is sad and happy. Happy I have it, sad I didn't reflect it more often. Like humility. He the King, the Creator of the tree He died on, humbled Himself. He gave it up for His loved ones. Beaten and oppressed, He was not defensive. He was, by the way, poor. Without a place to lay His head, He still provided for His family. Jesus had the integrity I long for my children and grandchildren to find in me. Like when He didn't game Pilate. Kept His cool and didn't even answer when I sure would have...some real lip to be sure. Truth-telling was easy for Him; He was The Truth. But it is a dad's surest guide: What Did Jesus Do? Ever notice His compassion? Had His mother taken care of with last words on the Cross. Fed 5000 hungry people a couple of times. Healed; good dads do that too. Remember when He took no bull from the wise-guy/rich-guy. Called it straight; firmly with grace. Hard to do. Glad He set the example.
While this frame of reference may not feel comfy for some of our readers, I'm glad we dads know transferable truth when we see it. Which is what set me off tonight. After the service, having saved post time for later evening, my wife turned on Passion of the Christ. What we had just heard in a sermonette, we now saw in brutal, painful, eye shielding scenes. I saw my very own Heavenly Father in the form of a young man of 32 hold His ground and give His all for me like I intend to do for my own children and grandchildren. Corny? Stretching it? Nope it's in my spiritual DNA. Now THAT is legacy.
IS THERE JUST ONE CHARACTER TRAIT YOU KNOW ABOUT JESUS, THE CHRIST, THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO WORK ON FOR YOUR OWN FATHERING?